Wyze, the budget-friendly smart home brand, has unveiled its latest offerings – the Wyze Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Router and the Wyze Wi-Fi 6E Mesh Router Pro. These routers promise to elevate your home's wireless connectivity without breaking the bank. So, what sets them apart from the rest? Let's explore.
A taste of Wi-Fi 6E with the Wyze Mesh Router Pro (mind the caveat)
The Wyze Wi-Fi 6E Mesh Router Pro distinguishes itself from the pack with its support for the Wi-Fi 6E standard. You might be wondering – what's the big deal with Wi-Fi 6E? In a nutshell, it enables Wi-Fi 6E-capable devices to connect on the less congested 6 GHz frequency band, paving the way for swifter and more dependable connections.
The Wyze Mesh Router Pro may not boast the same specifications as its pricier counterparts, but it certainly holds its own. Each router comes equipped with a 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port and a 1 Gbps Ethernet port and is capable of connecting to over 75 devices and covering a 2,000 square feet (ca. 186 m²) area. When pitted against rivals like the TP-Link Deco XE75, the coverage falls slightly short. Wyze also modestly claims a lower number of connectable devices, but it remains a robust choice for those seeking an economical and trustworthy router.
The cherry on top? The Wyze Wi-Fi 6E Mesh Router Pro's starting price is a mere US$273.99 (excluding shipping) for a pair of devices – a veritable bargain compared to other Wi-Fi 6E-compatible mesh routers on the market, such as Google's Nest Wifi Pro or Eero's Pro 6E.
Embracing the Wi-Fi 6E era
As you contemplate elevating your networking speed to exhilarating heights, bear in mind one crucial factor: both your router and the device you're connecting to it must support Wi-Fi 6E to fully reap its benefits. Fear not, as most contemporary mid-range to high-end smartphones and laptops are Wi-Fi 6E compatible, ensuring a smooth transition. Below is a selection of Wi-Fi 6E-friendly smartphones:
- Google Pixel from the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro onwards
- Xiaomi 12S series, Xiaomi 13
- Samsung Galaxy S22+, S22 Ultra, S23 series
A word of caution to Apple fans! If you're yearning for the breakneck speeds Wi-Fi 6E promises, be aware of a potential snag: no iPhone currently supports this cutting-edge Wi-Fi standard, which means you'll miss out on the additional 6 GHz band. However, there are a handful of Apple laptops, tablets, and computers that do embrace Wi-Fi 6E:
- MacBook Pro (14-inch, 2023) or MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2023)
- Mac mini (2023)
- iPad Pro 11-inch (4th generation) or iPad Pro 12.9 inch (6th generation)
A heart of power and a touch of mystery
The Wyze Wi-Fi 6E Mesh Router Pro boasts the formidable Qualcomm Immersive Home 316 Platform at its core. This powerhouse features a duo of ARM Cortex-A53 cores, 1 GB of RAM, and 128 MB of flash storage. Interestingly, the very same platform fuels two other well-known mesh systems: the Google Nest Wifi Pro and eero Pro 6E.
If you're on the hunt for a chic Wi-Fi router to blend seamlessly with your home's aesthetic, the Wyze Wi-Fi 6E Mesh Router Pro might not tick all your boxes. Why, you ask? Its sole colour option is black, which may deter some potential buyers. While numerous other popular mesh systems from Google, Amazon, TP-Link, and Asus offer a pristine white alternative, Wyze has chosen to walk a different path. Adding to the enigma, the less powerful Wyze Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Router is available in white. It's a puzzling choice, but perhaps the colour of your router is a minor sacrifice for speedy, dependable internet.
Wyze Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Router: A budget-friendly alternative
For those seeking a wallet-friendly option, the Wyze Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Router offers an attractive starting price of US$93.99 (plus shipping) for a single router or US$173.99 for a two-pack. However, bear in mind that this variant steps down to Wi-Fi 6 and omits the nifty 2.5Gbps Ethernet port found on the Pro version. Additionally, coverage is reduced to 1,500 square feet (ca. 139 m²) per router, and the number of connectable devices per router decreases from over 75 to over 50.
For the average user, who may not be a smart home aficionado, connecting over 50 devices should suffice, and Wi-Fi 6's speed is ample for seamless film and TV show streaming.
Aesthetically, the Wyze Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Router sports a white exterior, contrasting the Pro's black, allowing it to discreetly blend into most settings. Both Pro and non-Pro models boast a streamlined design, devoid of external antennas, setting them apart from traditional Wi-Fi access points.
A tale of two routers: Wyze Wi-Fi 6 Mesh and Wi-Fi 6E Mesh Router Pro
Wyze's Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Router and Wi-Fi 6E Mesh Router Pro share a common guardian in the form of advanced security software by Firedome. Acting as a digital bouncer for your smart home, Firedome's endpoint protection shields everything from your trusty laptop to your entertainment-hungry smart TV. With such robust protection, you can bask in the knowledge that your online escapades are safe and secure, whether you're diligently working from home or indulging in a series marathon.
Both router models can be managed through the Wyze app, serving as a digital command centre for your home network. The app delivers daily status reports, keeping you informed on the wellbeing of your network, the state of each router, and the identity of every connected device. This means you can swiftly identify which devices are connected and how they're linked, all from the palm of your hand.
The Wyze app doesn't stop there – it lets you group devices, name them, and manage their access to ensure your smart home runs like a well-oiled machine. And when it comes to welcoming guests, Wyze makes it a cinch to create a separate network. You can effortlessly set up, manage, and share a guest network, granting internet access without exposing your personal devices. With the Wyze app, you're the master of your network's destiny, so sit back, relax, and relish in a seamlessly connected smart home just a few taps away.
Regrettably, the two router models also share some shortcomings. Both lack the ability to function as a Thread border router. Furthermore, the size of the flash storage could become a weak point in the future. While the Nest Wifi Pro and eero Pro 6E boast a generous 4 GB of storage for firmware updates, the Wyze models are limited to a mere 128 MB.